Which players should be offloaded from Chelsea’s overflowing squad this summer

The curtain came down on Chelsea’s 2022/23 season on May 28th with a 1-1 draw at home to Newcastle United, and Blues fans the world over are all thinking the same thing. Good riddance. 

The recently finished campaign has been a disastrous one for all involved at Stamford Bridge.
The club has been through three different managers, namely Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter, and finally caretaker manager Frank Lampard. None of them, however, were able to get the best out of an overly swelled squad nor owner Todd Boehly’s billions. 

The result? A shocking 12th-place finish in the Premier League, the club’s worst in almost two decades. To make matters worse, disappointing exits in the Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid, as well as inexplicable third-round exits in both the FA Cup and the League Cup, have seen the club become a laughingstock within the footballing world. 

Sports betting websites in Canada are predicting that things could get worse before they get better. Given that, sportsbook Bodog has given the Blues an 11/1 (+1200) shot at winning the English top flight next season. To put that into context, there are four teams that have been given a better chance at winning the Premier League next May. Manchester City are the overwhelming 7/10  favourites, with Arsenal (13/2), Liverpool (7/1), and Manchester United (7/1) all given a much better chance at success than the Blues. 

With a squad containing a whopping 40 senior players, it’s no surprise that a much-needed clearout is on the cards at Stamford Bridge this summer. Both Mason Mount and N’Golo Kante are expected to leave for Manchester United and Al Ittihad respectively. But what of the players that remain? 

Must Leave This Summer 

Of Chelsea’s 40 senior players, or 38 if we forget about the aforementioned Mount and Kante, loan signings João Félix and Denis Zakaria will return to their parent clubs, namely Atletico Madrid and Juventus. That leaves 36 players all under contract till at least next summer, many of whom should be considered deadwood. 

In the striking department, both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Romelu Lukaku simply must be rehomed. Both signings have been costly, but it’s the latter that has been perhaps the worst piece of business by Chelsea in recent years. The Blues paid £100m to bring the big Belgian striker back to the club from Inter Milan in the summer of 2021, only to find him back out on loan with the Nerazzurri this season. 

In the attacking midfield department, Hakim Ziyech is another player that should be allowed to leave. The star of the show for Morocco at the 2022 FIFA World Cup simply hasn’t hit the heights expected of him at Stamford Bridge, and he should be on his way out of the club. USA international captain Christian Pulisic has also announced his intentions to leave, and Kai Havertz is also expected to be on his way, with Real Madrid being known admirers of the German star. 

In midfield, Mateo Kovacic is expected to leave, despite being one of Chelsea’s only decent performers last season. Manchester City have come calling regarding the Croatia international’s services and Pep Guardiola usually gets what he wants. Elsewhere, English youngsters Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Connor Gallagher should also leave, as should French midfielder Tiemoué Bakayoko, who has been on loan at AC Milan for the past two seasons. 

At the back, Chelsea are overflowing with central defenders. Kalidou Koulibaly came to London last summer in a megamoney deal with Napoli however, he has struggled to fill the boots of Antonio Rüdiger who left for Real Madrid last summer and was the man that the Senegal captain was brought in to replace. Whether he gets another chance at the Bridge remains to be seen however, we feel that he should be on his way out of the door. 

One Last Chance? 

There are two more players that arrived in West London last summer that has truly disappointed over the last 12 months. However, unlike the aforementioned Koulibaly, these two have age on their side. They are of course Wesley Fofana and Marc Cucurella. 

Both players arrived for a combined £130m however neither of them has impressed and if Chelsea were to cash in now, they would receive a snippet of the fees they paid last year. With the likes of Thiago Silva, Trevor Chalobah, and new signing Benoît Badiashile all options in defence, it remains to be seen how much new manager Mauricio Pochettino will choose to streamline his backline. 

Senior England international Raheem Sterling has also been a disappointing signing. He arrived to much fanfare from Manchester City last summer however, he has failed to hit the ground running and registered just nine goals and four assists last term. Everyone knows of the former Liverpool star’s quality, but whether he is given a second chance by Poch, only the Argentinian manager knows. 

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